- In 2023, the value of digitally printed e-commerce packaging will be over $2.5 billion as a result of explosive growth across the world
- Volume of print is forecast to grow year-on-year at 8.0% to 2028
- Digital printed packaging will grow at a faster rate than the overall e-commerce packaging market.
A fast-growing area is the capability to print on the inside of a box to improve the unboxing experience. Brands and retailers are looking to develop the functions of packaging to increase consumer engagement, while providing useful cross- and up-selling opportunities.
Customer-facing digital print is enabling logistics operations to improve as parcel volumes grow. This is stimulating investment in high-quality pack printing of machine-readable codes to streamline delivery, and allow for faster fulfilment and premiumisation of e-commerce orders. The great bulk of this printed packaging is inkjet, with a range of equipment being used to print corrugated boxes and protective packs, plastic films, paper bags, rigid and protective mailers.
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What will you discover?
- Smaller e-commerce brands are increasingly taking market share from brick and mortar stores; in response the retail giants are investing in their own online options
- Fast food delivery and technology developments, such as the Metaverse, will provide major opportunities, with Chinese retailers showing the power of shared retail
- As single pass inkjet printing systems become established, they are capable of printing large volumes in a short time, fitting the requirements of retail.
This market is seeing impressive growth and part of this comes from the growing overall market, but one of the key drivers for digital print growth is in boosting the sustainability credentials of packaging where digital print helps to deliver the goods. Digital print markets will develop inside the broader print market, which is shifting towards an increasingly digitalised world. Print markets depend on end-user preferences that are subject to the wider economic situation as well as specific trends and drivers.
The Smithers methodology
This report is based on extensive primary and secondary research. Primary research consisted of targeted interviews with material suppliers, converters and experts drawn from key markets. This was supported by secondary research in the form of extensive literature analysis of published data, official government statistics, domestic and international trade organisation data, company websites, industry reports, trade press articles, presentations, and attendance at trade events.
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About the author
- Raw material and consumables suppliers
- Printing machinery and equipment suppliers
- Packaging converters
- E-commerce brand owners and retailers
- Industry consultants and analysts
Sean Smyth has spent more than 25 years in senior technology and management positions for print businesses across the supply chain. Sean has extensive experience in digital printing. In his time with Smithers, Sean has authored many off-the-shelf market studies and has provided strategic consultancy services to a range of clients across the value chain.